Son of Fed Square

In one of the most popular posts of TWOP, there was much debate on how bad Melbourne’s Fed Square was in comparison with Perth’s even more horrible Cultural Centre. Here’s a nice picture of the TWOP logo in enemy territory. I claimed that Fed Square was incredibly Perth, and is exactly the sort of “high tech” nonsense that would get built in Perth. Not surprisingly a shit version of Fed Square is now under construction next to the Entertainment Centre according to the artists impression.

fed square
entertainment centre

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About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
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72 Responses to Son of Fed Square

  1. meccano101 says:

    Wow, it is similar, except Fed square is in combat fatigues. BTW
    I love the barking swan L.A.


  2. tomthrett says:

    shit version of fed square… please no. this is possibly the greatest building our state is ever likely to receive. to call anything from the studio of ARM shit, is the highest form of herecy!


  3. But Tom, why go for those diamond panels. Obviously a cheap version of the Fed square bullshit.


  4. Lannie McT goes from triumph to triumph. ( Ala Refenstahl’s ” Triumph of the Will” .


  5. Anonymous Perthon says:

    I predict that by the time it gets to the construction phase, the design will be watered down to two beige triangles, without the pointy bits on top.


  6. meccano101 says:

    Anon, are you refering to the Worst of Perth t-shirt design or the building?


  7. Anonymous Perthon says:

    It’s hard to say
    I cannot believe that “Swan Font” wasn’t used for the t-shirt though


  8. Anon, the Bob Jane T Mart font not good enough for you?


  9. Ophuph Hucksake says:

    Hmmm … I participated in some market research about this project last year. I’m very worried I have influenced the proposed design by saying, “Make it more like Melbourne CBD so people will want to come!”

    I didn’t mean, “recreate Fed Square,” FFS!

    Looks like they’ve ignored by advice to build lots of through roads connecting Northbridge to the CBD, hence alleviating the inevitable traffic snarls (though a bit hard to tell from the drawings).


  10. Ophuh. It sounds so good saying reconnect the city by sinking the railway line etc, but seeing what a total disaster subi has been, we all know it will be terrible. Having a faker Fed square will be the icing on a crap sandwich.


  11. Andrew Haig says:

    Well, being a Melburnian and an avowed lover of Fed Square – this (the angled diamond aspect) could have some potential. The whole diamonds, angles, ‘shard’ thing is very much a contemporary architectural stylistic thing (see in Toronto) but when it works – wow. And with all good buildings – the real test is ‘using’ them, not just looking at them. But the ‘Fed Sq lookalike’ part of this development looks pretty cosmetic and this approach is not followed throughout the rest of the development. Hmm…


  12. Andrew, I can assure you the approach won’t be followed through. It just wouldn’t be Perth if it was.


  13. tomthrett says:

    arm are too clever to just rip off fed square, and if they are, its completely on purpose with some kind of biting comment loaded behind it. these architects are the best in the country, and in my opinion close to the best in the world at the moment.they have also experimented with tesselation of triangels before, see story hall, form 94, and some office in richmond, it also is the stanard pattern that comes off computer nurbs modelling. but you know, thats just my opinion.


  14. To me it screams “We gotta have a Fed Square – and fast.” But that is my view.


  15. Blandwagon says:

    Why have you pixellated your chin? Is it a particularly recognisable chin? Do you have a tiny identifying birthmark on your jaw shaped like Alannah Mctiernan?

    That Entertainment Centre image is nightmarish: we could have done all sorts of interesting, non-Fed Square things, but instead we chase after Melbourne like a gauche 13 year old idolising a Neighbours starlet.


  16. Not my chin. My chin currently ensconced in Embleton.


  17. Rolly says:

    Blandwagon; Something original in Perth is/was always treated as a kind of heresy. Take the alternative energy work conducted by Murdoch Uni in the ’80s – duly cancelled due lack of interest by the ‘powers that be’ and the community at large. After all what value could there be in something that no-one else in the greater world was really interested in?
    The home-grown and locally initiated will always be regarded with great suspicion whereas the untried exotic is accepted without question.
    Viva il “Cringe”


  18. babymcjane says:

    Blandwagon ,Yes chin very recognisable, Sadly, I am often forced to go for weeks with it pixelated. The elderly gentleman behind me has the same problem.


  19. greg hoey says:

    Like the color and chrystaline shapes. But as has been suggested in posts above will they still be the same by time of it getting built? And not get ammended into medicrity by the powers that be. Quite like Fed square though its innovation mainly resides in its outer layering. The underlaying structure is fairly mundane, even lacklustre in scope in actuality.

    Plus will be great to sink the rail-line and unify northbridge into perth city center.

    Would love to see Perth [and OZ in general] get more creativity in its architecture however as its all so severe and angular and flatenned and steel concrete and glassified and rarely goes beyond the expected. Import some frank O.Gehry and definately love to have Calatrava [supreme] do something here. Even Zahia Hadid [devestating geometric-angularity].

    Really dont think australia has that many compelling architects to be honest.


  20. tomthrett says:

    greg, we really dont need to import people like that. its absurd, its just admiting defeat, that australia has no interesting architects of merit. this is simply untrue. to use an oft raped phrase, and a completely wrong one, “its un australian” what on earth does zaha hav to do with australia. its completely facetiuos. ARM, Edmond and Corrigan, Greg Burgess,Simon ANderson are doing work in Australia that is completley at the forefront of intellectual and excellent architecture, but no one cares, because it doesnt have enough crazy lines, an squiggly bits. frank gehry buildings are for 4 year olds, who like shiny things, and dont understand the concept of acrchitectrue( disclaimer: i think gehry is genius)


  21. In some ways it is like the public art works. Perth is always wanting something good, but whatever is offered is always rejected.


  22. Anonymous Perthon says:

    Tom, with one degree of separation I can link Zaha to Australia – one of her team members is an architect who studied at Curtin Uni of New Technology.
    But you are right, there are literally hundreds of interesting home grown architects and designers right here.


  23. tomthrett says:

    anon, i think you missed the point…


  24. Frank Calabrese says:


    I wonder if you’ve noticed the unfortunate choice of Acronym when you wrote the following?

    [Curtin Uni of New Technology]


  25. Anonymous Perthon says:

    Yep, i’m good at missing points, but you asked what connection Zaha has to oz, I gave one ( I have A LOT of spare time on my hands.
    Frank unfortunately I was fully aware of the acronym, small things amuse me


  26. Mez says:

    The triumph of Fed square is not the architectural frippery of triangles and funny angles. That simply makes it look striking. What makes it work well is that the people of Melbourne have embraced it as a real meeting place and cultural hub. People actually want to hang out there! The test of Perth’s new building, whether a rip off or not, will be to see if the good people of WA want to be associated with it – if as many general public turn up as in that goofy mock-up drawing then it cant lose – if not… a big sparkly white elephant.


  27. greg hoey says:

    Australian art and architecture tomthrett takes itself so seriously nowadays that much of it has become devoid of any humour or shapliness. Its full of hard edged philosophy/geometry minus any tactility or movement just the way australian “high” culture itself has become infested with this philosophy of kindness and self-righteousness over the last few years and this has become something quite ugly exactly what it was unintended. Much to do initially with the general apathy of the australian public toward art & design [utzon classic exam.]. its become turned in on itself and committed to a sort of mathmatically correct puritanism.

    And just does’nt reach down at all to the average person. Give me gehry, hadid, coop himmelblau, morphosis, others anyday. Have you seen gehry’s latest [german parliamentary houses] or the proposed confluence museum [coop] just not as cold as australian contemporary archi. Even calatrava when he does a luminous white classic building its ‘cool’ never cold or mathmatically inert.

    There are good architects in oz murcott, godsen, corker-denton as you say but the best australian architecture seems to be small housing commissions not major public building ones. And I think this is where we need outside influences.

    Australian culture at the moment is too much under the influence of a kind of maternalist ethic that simply wont allow australian artists to think or construct outside of a very simplistc ideaological framework and I think this affects the way artists and architects design in this country quite crucially.


  28. Martin says:

    What’s this? A WOP entry that is mean-spirited without being funny? Such a disappointment.

    I think we all know that this building won’t be the next Opera House, but christ, for a public building (which is designed primarily as a sporting venue, not a meeting-space) we could be getting a whole lot worse. Perth needs an injection of modern architecture, and even if it does resemble (in utterly superficial terms) Federation square, there is at least some scale to this thing (unlike, say, the pre-pubescent Bell Tower).

    If you’re going to have a go at any of our new buildings, there’s plenty of others to complain about that do nothing to enhance the skyline or activate dead areas, like the countless apartment towers with nothing below them but locked foyers.


  29. I thought the tshirt at Fed square was pretty amusing Martin.
    I want to know why can’t it be the next opera house?
    The lezzo mermaid for today should have you amused surely.

    I suppose I haven’t specifically covered the towers you mention because there’s not so much funny to say. Near the casino for instance. Towers roasting in the sun.


  30. David Cohen says:

    It’s hard to say for sure. But is the figure/woman walking away from the viewer on the right-hand side wearing black ankle boots, a bikini bottom and nothing else? Whatever she’s wearing, I like the two identical zombies in shorts flanking her.


  31. Rolly says:

    David @ 30. It’s time for a new monitor methinks. Or perhaps a visit to your friendly optometrist :b


  32. Anonymous Perthon says:

    Sorry Rolly but David is right, AND there are at least three more of them hidden away like where’s wally’s.
    Perhaps this new Fed Square won’t be so square after all


  33. Golden1 says:

    Oh my God David that is hilarious – although I think she is wearing a flesh coloured pant-suit (which is somehow worse).
    Anonymous – I have counted 6 of them, all with similar staining in the groin area.


  34. tomthrett says:

    hmmm, greg hoey i think your looking at the wrong australian architecture. It is (good examples)funny, nad humourous,. and clever nad witty, and most importantly it identifies particularly with australia. an arm builidng cant be built anywhere but australia. it just cant. Edmond and corrigan can only be built in australia. i guess you have to be a certain type of architect/student to get the humour, but i assume you are, you sound quite educated on architects.. its to hard to argue. good debate though! its what perth needs more of.


  35. There’s a woman two people right from the big tree on the left that appears to be completely naked, albeit needing an industrial bikini trimmer.


  36. Rolly says:

    Definitely time for that visit to the optometrist…….And to stop it before you guys go completely blind.


  37. Rage says:

    Melbourne: “We don’t like federation square. Well, I guess some of use do, but it’s mostly quite ugly!”
    Perth: “Ugly? Wait, I’ve got a great idea!”
    Allanah: “It’s my idea! Mine!”

    …I love Perth.


  38. SkyLantern says:

    Where’s Wally?


  39. Martin says:

    I think your criticism of this building is an example of one of the reason’s I’m so pessimistic about this town. It always seems like there’s a section of the population who are willing to say it’s too ugly, too bold, too expensive, too bland, not big enough, not small enough, not environmentally friendly enough, not accessible enough, not exclusive enough, not egalitarian enough. Oh god! That it’s being built at all, in the face of all of that, is a victory in itself. And that we’ve come out of that hubbub with a building which rails against the norm, well all I can say is hurrah.

    As to your question, if the question is why it can’t be the next Opera House, it’s probably because someone on a blog will complain that it’s too much like the Opera House. ;)


  40. Yes, we always want something – but not that, whatever it is.


  41. meccano101 says:

    Perth seems to have fallen victim to the the Mr Burns [Simpsons] mentality “I don’t know about art but I know what I hate”.

    Martin what is your take on the Convention Centre? Surely that building alone is enough to make you pessimistic about Perth. Groups of people saying ‘no’ to a proposed project is far less frightening than those who have said yes the abominations already in existence.
    Personally I love Fed square and use it often and while I don’t know the details of the Perth building featured it seems on the surface a positive step forward.


  42. Rage says:

    Martin, criticism is great. It’s warranted. As long as it is taken positively, and used to develop something better. Not, as someone mentioned earlier, two beige triangles. I’m all for innovation, and design is a passion of mine.

    Innovation does not have to mean Federation square’s ugly third cousin with a lisp.


  43. Martin says:

    Rage: I agree with you. Maybe it was a bit much labelling what was written as ‘criticism’, when really it was just a big of light-hearted slagging off. :)

    Regarding the convention centre, I think most people would agree that it is hardly an ideal location, nor particularly inspiring architecturally. We think about all those amazing things we “could” have had and it’s a steaming pile. The wool shed or the hay shed or whatever cute name the west australian came up with, etc.

    But it used to be a surface car park. When I make this comparison, it’s great.

    I don’t know if any of you saw the competing tender/plan for the convention centre, it’s clear that we really got the worst option. It’s very sad indeed. But as a stepping stone toward utilising space that was otherwise wasted (and an important venue for cultural powerhouses like cheap art-print warehouse sales– Excuse me, I mean, “international art galleries”) I’m more than okay with it.

    I love fed square too. I think the comparison between the Perth Arena and Fed Square is terribly superficial. And PA may not be ‘innovative enough’ or ‘original enough’, but within the context of a city full glass buildings whose front doors lock at 5pm, damn, let me at it.

    Gosh, look at me, I’m a total wanker!


  44. I have had the convention centre “shot” for some time, but trying to think of something amusing rather than ranting has been the hardest part. I wish someone had got a shot of that art exhibition for me.


  45. Martin says:

    Personally, I’d focus on the telethon angle. :)


  46. skink says:

    sorry guys, but Fed Square is a poor rip-off of Daniel Libeskind’s work, but without the wit, intelligence or quality of finish.

    (check out his Denver art museum, and his building at London Met Uni)

    Nattrass was planning a similar Liebeskind knock-off for the Treasury Building, but it appears to have been knobbled


  47. Have to think up another fed square story. Always gets so many good comments.


  48. Vivifyer says:

    That 3D render is something I worked on a few years ago, I can tell you now its in no way representative of a final design. As far as I can remember, an artist not an architect made that building up in about 10 minutes.

    Pretty harsh to flatout attack it when you dont know if its final or not. Until you see posters up on temporary fencing, then take a photo of that, and bitch and moan about it. We all know its a crap design hah. so just wait till something gets built, .. and make another post attacking it, because no doubt it will be a ripoff of someone eles work over east.

    ps. do you like the planned BHP building?


  49. Give me a link to BHP Viv. Artists are now whipping up buildings? What next?


  50. skink says:

    I think the point here is that decisions in Perth get made on one hastily cobbled design and image – there is no thorough planning process such as might happen in other cities – no open scrutiny, nitpicking and thread-pulling – just a knee-jerk council or state govt decision with little or no informed debate.

    go look at the stations on the Mandurah railway or the Convention Centre and tell me different


  51. By the way Viv. Did you render those naked women? If so, kudos.


  52. Vivifyer says:

    Well sometimes we are to do work with little to no details, so it forces us to just make stuff up. And the results are not always the best :P

    The naked women arn’t actually haha, they just have some messed up polygons around the crotch, and vray’s irradiance makes that area dark. I hate using people in 3d scenes, cos they never look right.

    Theres a skyscrapercity forum page on the BHP building.. scroll down till you see the renders with the lovely yellow beams.. thats our work.


  53. Re: BHP. I don’t like the bits on the roof. The rest I don’t mind.


  54. Rolly says:

    Thanks for the link Vivifier.
    No doubt about it; in the interests of economy the architects minimise the use of aesthetics wherever possible.
    Pity, really.


  55. skink says:

    Re BHP:

    nice renders, but eerily reminiscent of Foster’s Century Tower


  56. greg hoey says:

    “Fed squares rip off of daniel libeskinds work”- kinda agree.


  57. greg hoey says:

    And Allanah Mcteirnans a feminist medici wannabee.


  58. SkyLantern says:

    RE: BHP

    In the view from South Perth the building looks like some kind of giant retro walkie talkie.

    Here’s the blueprint:


  59. The spire looks a little like it’s meant to hold a Winfield billboard. The rest, as I say I’m fine with.


  60. greg hoey says:

    More square and rectangular shapes in a skyline swamped by them. Ok like the steel armature lattice work along the line of some of it, but really boxlike and clumpy looking.

    And replying to martins concerns with regard our new convention center that the virtue of such a building is that now at least it is no longer a car park. Well thats like saying if we build a brick shithouse on top a rubbish tip we’ve made the place a whole lot better. Quite right of coarse in logic but such low standards Martin !

    And the truly awful of it was at the time they rebuffed the offers of norman foster [sir] to design something having jsut completed his great hong kong bank building [again with much of its inner supporting structure on the outside].

    This sort of attitude by the perth authorities deserves a PH.D in pure-bred simple-minded breathtaking parochialistic ignorance and utter cockamaymeness!!


  61. People don’t say Cockamamie enough these days. thanks Greg. I believe this is also the most heavily commented post.


  62. Martin says:

    Re: my low standards Greg, what can I say? This city has bred me to think small, obviously! But I think there’s a lot of good coming up, especially William 140, Raines Square and the NB Link / Foreshore developments.


  63. skink says:

    Raines Square? oh please.

    it’s a Luke Saraceni development, so will no doubt be of the same high quality as the MegaMart eyesore that he built opposite the Art Gallery, or that cheesy mall in Murray Street that is so poor only Red Dot type stores want the lease.

    the King of Shoddy


  64. Martin says:

    The megamart! Now that’s worthy of a TWOP entry!

    The renders for Raine look pretty great to me. Bankwest like it enough to move there. I don’t think Perth has any curvy glass buildings so it should add some interest :)


  65. skink says:

    yes, let us please start a TWOP entry for the Megamart.

    it is an outrage, an outrage I say!, that such a hideous piece of tilt-up crap should have been allowed opposite the old Court building/Centenary Galleries. I am incandescent with indignation!

    that building belongs on an industrial estate in Malaga.

    it doesn’t even work on commercial grounds – Myer gave up the lease pretty quickly and now it contains horrible repro leather furniture (which also belongs in Malaga, preferably piled high on a piece of waste ground and set alight)


  66. Drubbing says:

    It’s wonderful. The sort of postmodern junk that you could turn upside down or on either end and it will still look shit.

    It barely resembles a bulding. It’s more like a Lego accident in a nuclear power station. I paticulalry like the artisits impression, though. It appears most people are walking away from it as it vomits its way out of the ground.

    Someone went to Uni to learn how to come up with that. The government should be hunting them down and asking for their HECS contributions back.


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  71. Andrew says:

    Don’t mind the PA, but the external colour rendering palaver just feels all a bit Perth suburban kid’s park playground to me.

    Would love, by the way, to have a look at the designs the Court government rejected for the crap new home of Telethon – the Convention Centre.

    Would have been nice to have incorporated a wonderfully glassy, riverside Conv Cent in the Waterfront design.

    And whatever happened to Steven Dattner’s! international fur sales?.


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